South Orange-Maplewood District to Hold 2nd Education Summit Dec. 6

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After unveiling its new Strategic Plan on Nov. 21 at a Board of Education meeting, the South Orange-Maplewood School District will host “Education Summit 2” on Thursday, December 6 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Columbia High School to discuss the plan with the public.

The Education Summit will begin with a presentation by Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Ramos and then move to participants discussing up to three out of nine potential strategies outlined in the Strategic Plan in smaller groups.

Read about the first Education Summit, held in November 2015, in this Village Green article. Learn what’s next in the Strategic Planning process in this article.

The Strategic Plan is the culmination of a year of  meetings, focus groups, research and discussion.

The process kicked off with an Education Summit attended by more than 1,500 community members in November 2015. Then, in February, the Board of Education adopted a Strategic Direction document to guide the process as it broke into nine Action Planning teams of 12 members each.

After five months of work, the Action Planning teams were to present their work to the Strategic Direction committee in September, according to a plan outlined by Ramos last February.

Next, the Full Strategic Plan (Strategic Direction and Completed Action Plans) was scheduled to be presented to the Board of Education for Review in October with the Strategic Plan to be shared with community — also in October 2016. Finally, the Strategic Plan was to be submitted to the Board of Education for approval at its November meeting.

However, the District  announced over the summer that it was pushing back the timeline by one month, to give the action planning teams time to reconvene after the summer and complete their work.

After the second Education Summit on December 6, the Strategic Plan is scheduled to go back to the Board of Education in December for approval.

The District will also hold three forums for people who cannot attend the December 6 Summit (one for staff, one daytime for community, one evening for community). The dates of those forums have not yet been announced.

Free childcare, transportation, and translation will be available for December 6 Education Summit 2 on request. Those interested should email


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